Mike Pondsmith's RPG of steampunk science, magick, and high adventure, Castle Falkenstein. Published in 1994 by R. Talsorian Games, Falkenstein conjures a New Europa where the forces of wizardry battle on the gaslit streets of an alternate Victorian Age -- where The Lord of the Rings meets The Prisoner of Zenda.
Inspired by a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Mike Pondsmith (Cyberpunk, Mekton) created a splendid frappe of a rulebook. It's told as the narrative adventure of one Tom Olam, a computer game artist unwillingly transported to New Europa by a powerful sorcerer and the King of the Fae. There he creates (in collaboration with the Prince of Wales) a "Great Game" that brings roleplaying to the salons of Europa.
The Great Game, and the Castle Falkenstein game itself, are high-spirited endeavors in unabashed melodrama, where adventures feature a Fiendish Plot, an Insidious Peril, Imprisonment in Durance Vile, and a Fate Worse Than Death, along with hairsbreadth escapes, deathtraps, and perilous battles. Players fill out not only characters sheets for their Dramatic Characters; they also keep a diary of the character's life and times in the Steam Age. Start a session of "the Great Game," and soon you'll be speaking and writing like Captain Fortune himself: "I've a loaded reciprocator in one hand, a saber in the other, and a deucedly good Helical Rotor Ornithopter to get me where it's needful. What say we take a flight over the Channel and beard the unscrupulous bounder in his very lair?"
This offer collects R. Talsorian's entire Castle Falkenstein line in one low-priced bundle -- and this revival adds three brand-new supplements. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.
The total retail value of the titles in this revived offer is US$95.50. Customers who pay just US$11.95 get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
- Castle Falkenstein (retail price $20): The complete 226-page rulebook as a beautiful full-color .PDF.
- Comme Il Faut (retail $10): The player's essential guide to "all things right and proper" in the aristocratic courts of New Europa and beyond.
- Steam Age (retail $8): A comprehensive equipment guide and interviews with many notable mad scientists and masterminds, like Captain Nemo and Lady Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers.
- Six-Guns & Sorcery (retail $10): Adventures in the Steam Age version of North America, a high-weirdness patchwork of bizarre nations.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $22.95 to start, also get this revival's entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $54 -- including three Falkenstein supplements, originally published by Fat Goblin Games and newly acquired by R. Talsorian, that debut in this offer and are not yet available anywhere else. (Those who purchased this bundle during its original May 2016 run automatically receive the new additions on their Wizard's Cabinet download page and in their DriveThruRPG Library.)
- Curious Creatures (retail $7.50): The comprehensive Falkenstein monster manual.
- Firearms & Margarine (retail $5): A full-length Adventure Entertainment set in Paris, where a mystery surrounds the assassination of a Brownie labor leader.
- Variations on the Great Game (retail $5): Optional rules that let you customize Falkenstein to your exact taste.
- The Book of Sigils (retail $10): A new magick system, many new Sorcerous Orders and lorebooks, and rules for the animated dead, ghosts, and spirits.
- The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (retail $10): Retrieved from beyond the Faerie Veil, this codex presents sorcerous devices and rules for the construction of magickal engines.
- The Memoirs of Auberon of Faerie (retail $10): The High Lord of the Seelie Court reveals the secrets of the enigmatic Fae. By Jeff Grubb (Marvel Super Heroes, Spelljammer).
Castle Falkenstein resources
- The Victorian Web
- Mark Baker's Egyptian Sourcebook for Castle Falkenstein -- a fan page including a lengthy adventure, "The Tomb of the Forgotten Pharaoh"
- Mot's Castle Falkenstein -- "I have included a new combat resolution system for the more math-oriented people like myself"
- Layflat Castle Falkenstein -- Wikia page for the Layflat RPG group's campaign, with lots of house rules and resources
Last time I said "I already own most (possibly all) of these books in dead tree format, I think, though I need to check - if I didn't I'd be very interested indeed. But if you haven't seen this game it's well worth a look, a fun genre and a style of presentation that is pretty much unique to this system.
As usual I have to point out that I'm getting this stuff free if I want it, but the starting price is a real bargain, I'd expect it to go up fast on this one."
All of this still applies, but this time I'll be downloading the new material - and if you got the bundle last time, don't forget that you're entitled to get the new material free! Also posted at https://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2189182.html, where there are comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.